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Friday, 28 October 2016

Theme and time of 5th Norwegian Animal Ethics Conference

The theme of the 5th Norwegian Animal Ethics Conference (Dyreetikkonferansen), to be held at Litteraturhuset in Oslo November 23rd at 10.00-15.00, is "Ekstrem forvandling: Avle alt alltid" [Extreme transformation: Always breed everything?]. The program is now just about finalized.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

To attend GroupHouseNet MC meeting etc in Belgrade in November

I have been summoned to participate in the 10-11 November Management Committee meeting and Work Group meetings of the COST project GroupHouseNet ("Synergy for preventing damaging behaviour in group housed pigs and chickens"), in Belgrade, Serbia. This will be my second MC meeting and second trip to Belgrade.

UiS profile page updated

My profile page at University of Stavanger has been updated with a more contemporary profile picture, as well as updates research interests, publication list, current office number etc.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Wolves and sheep article - proof queries

I have just responded to proof queries in the third round of editing of my article "Historicizing the Cultural Semiotics of Wolf and Sheep", forthcoming in Pakistan Journal of Historical Studies.

Work meeting

Today I had a writing-focused work meeting with a colleague.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Guest lecture by Svein Gjedrem attended

Today I attended a guest lecture at University of Stavanger Business School by Svein Gjedrem, former Central bank governor in Norway. the topic was Norway´s sovereign wealth fund and its relation to the federal budget.

9th lecture

Today I have given the 9th lecture in Examen Philosophicum at University of Stavanger´s Department of social studies. The topic was "justified knowledge", various notions of empirical data, and hermeneutics.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Annual meeting of Minding Animals Norway 2016

The 2016 annual meeting of Minding Animals Norway will be held November 23rd at 18 o´clock on the eatery Git Bit in Oslo, the board of Minding Animals Norway decided today.

Minding Animals board meeting

Today I attended and chaired the bimonthly board meeting of Minding Animals Norway, via Google Hangouts. Among the topics were practical tasks during the 2016 Norwegian Animal Ethics Conference. The annual research seminar was cancelled (2016) due to a lack of willingness in the board to take responsibility for organizing it.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

NASS board meeting attended, chaired

On October 10th I attended - and chaired, and wrote the minutes of - the board meeting of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies (NASS). The main topics concerned deciding on and planning the 10th conference of NASS, which is to be held in June 2017 in Kaunas, Lithuania.

ISI link

I have added a link to the International Semiotics Institute in the right-hand sidebar titled "Some related academic links".

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

NASS X held in conjunction with 13th World Congress of Semiotics; abstract deadline November 30

The 10th Conference of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies (NASS), "Nordic-Baltic links, networks and domains in semiotics and beyond" will be held in conjunction with the 13th World Congress of Semiotics (Kaunas, Lituania, June 26-30th 2017). The Call for Papers, with abstract deadline November 30th, is featured in the 9th newsletter of NASS (now online).

4 hours of teaching

Today I have been teaching for 4 hours - two seminars in Examen Philosophicum at University of Stavanger´s Department of social studies.

Monday, 17 October 2016

9th newsletter of NASS finished

Today I have taken part in finishing the 9th newsletter of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies, which I edit along with Inesa Sahakyan.

6 hours of teaching

Today I have taught for 6 hours in Examen Philosophicum at University of Stavanger´s Department of social studies (first a lecture, then two seminars). The topic was epistemology/philosophy of science.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Fourth biosemiotic glossary article on "semiotic threshold" - survey now online

The forth survey in the biosemiotic glossary project has just been released online, via Google Forms/Google Docs - here. The key term for the fourth survey is "semiotic threshold". The fourth review article in the project is being written and researched by Kalevi Kull and Claudio J. Rodríguez H.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Speakers confirmed for 5th Norwegian Animal Ethics Conference

Program entries are starting to be confirmed for the 5th Norwegian Animal Ethics Conference, which will be held Wednesday November 23rd at Litteraturhuset, Oslo, with the theme "Ekstrem forvandling: Avle alt alltid?" [Extreme makeover: Always breed everything?]. Confirmed speakers include Marit Emilie Buseth, Ingrid Olesen (NOFIMA), Bjørn Ramberg (UIO) and Odd Vangen (NTNU).

Interviewed on background of Norwegian wolf conflict on national radio

Yesterday, October 12th, I appeared on national public radio in NRK P2´s program "Ekko", in the story "Hvorfor er vi så redde for ulven?" [Why are we so afraid of the wolf?], along with biologist Barbara Zimmermann (HiH) and sociologist Ketil Skogen (NINA). We were interviewed by Rikke Eckhoff. Available as podcast.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Website of Norwegian Animal Ethics Conference updated

Recently I have updated the webpage of the Norwegian Animal Ethics Conference with the first info on this year´s conference, which takes place November 23rd in Oslo.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Staff meeting attended

Today I attended the staff meeting of University of Stavanger´s Department of social studies.

Meeting attended

Today I have attended a work meeting on a joint article and a course I will coordinate next Spring.

Monday, 10 October 2016

To discuss wolves on national radio

I have agreed to appear on NRK P2s "Ekko" Wednesday morning on live national public radio, discussing the significance of wolves.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Meeting of UiS Work group on ethical trade attended

Today I attended a meeting of the University of Stavanger´s Work group for ethical trading. Among other things, we finished our draft proposal of the action plan for ethical trading for 2017-2020.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

To give guest lecture at University of Oslo February 23rd

I have agreed to give a guest lecture, again, on the Anthropocene and such,  at University of Oslo´s Department of criminology and sociology of law, in the course on green criminology, "Grønn (øko-global) kriminologi" [Green [eco-global] criminology]). The title of my lecture remains «Menneskeveldet – menneskets globale økologiske hierarki» [The human empire - humankind´s global ecological hierarchy].

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Full reference for Thinking about animals in the age of the Anthropocene

Here is the full reference for our recent book:
Tønnessen, Morten, Kristin Armstrong Oma and Silver Rattasepp (eds) (2016). Thinking about animals in the age of the Anthropocene. Lanham, Boulder, New York, London: Lexington Books. Partially available in Google Books.

Abstract for article: "The search image as link between sensation, perception and action"

On September 30th I finished the abstract below, which is for a forthcoming article.
The search image as link between sensation, perception and action
Morten Tønnessen 
As part of his Umwelt theory, a theory on the subjective, experiential worlds of animals, Jakob von Uexküll (1864–1944) introduced the notion of the search image (Suchbild). A search image is an imagined object that an animal or human being has in mind as it searches for something. The search image plays a central role in what I have termed the mediated Umwelt, the aspect of Umwelt in which Umwelt objects are encountered indirectly by way of some mediation (e.g. memory, fantasy, anticipation). It is generally related to an animal´s agenda- or interest-driven matching of something it is searching for with something in its environment. Animals need search images in order to navigate in their environment, in order to pursue some of their biological needs, and in order to direct attention to their immediate or prioritised needs. They are also key to understanding how perception works as distinguished from sensation, and how an animal´s perception and action are connected. Generally, Umwelt codes – codes that are required to perform the functions of perception and action – include neural codes and ecological codes (and cultural codes as well in the case of human beings). The search image acts as an intermediary between perception and action, and between the mediated Umwelt and the core Umwelt, the aspect of Umwelt in which Umwelt objects are encountered directly. In consequence, we can assume that neural codes and ecological codes coalesce in the functioning of the search image. The imagined object has the form of a schema, and encountered objects may or may not be perceived as fitting with the anticipated schema. The perception of a match may furthermore be either correct or incorrect. Object recognition occurs when an encountered object is correctly perceived as fitting with an anticipated schema. But search images, with their implied schemata, may also be confused with actual perception images of encountered objects. Perception is not an entirely accurate endeavour. Nevertheless, the search image is an indispensable instrument in the perceptual tool box of any animal with a saturated Umwelt. In addition to contributing to a proper understanding of how sensation, perception and action are linked, studies into the phenomenon of search images can shed light on some present puzzles in cognitive science. As an example, contemporary science posits that underlying, action-related brain activity by far precedes our subjective experience of choosing to act in a certain way. This has even been taken to imply that human beings do not in fact have free will. In some of these cases, however, the functioning of search images can help explain why it is that action-related brain activity appears to precede the experience of having made a choice of action. In short, when an animal or a human being operates with a search image, we anticipate encountering the imagined object. Accordingly, we act not only in response to encountered objects, but also in response to imagined ones. And whenever an encountered object is in hindsight correctly perceived to be a match to an imagined object, we may have acted in response to that anticipated object before we could confirmatively perceive it as a match to our search image.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Wolf and sheep article edited (second round)

Last evening I finished the second round of revision of my article for Pakistan Journal of Historical Studies´ special issue on “Emotions, Humans and Animals”, "Historicizing the Cultural Semiotics of Wolf and Sheep".

See also:

H-index of 7

According to statistics at my Google Scholar profile, I now have an h-index of 7, meaning that 7 of my publications have been cited at least 7 times.

See also:

Biosemiotics blogpost featured in Springer newsletter

Monday, 3 October 2016

MEM110 planning meeting

Today I attended a two-person planning meeting on the course "Welfare state and welfare policy", for which I am course coordinator next Spring (course code MEM110).

7th lecture

Today I gave the 7th lecture this semester in Examen Philosophicum at University of Stavanger´s Department of social studies. The topic was epistemology.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

"The epistemology of biosemiotics" submitted; outline

In the night between Friday and Saturday this week, I finished and submitted my article "The epistemology of biosemiotics" to Biosemiotics, for a special issue on constructive biosemiotics (previous work title: "Descartes, phenomenology, and the epistemology of biosemiotics"). Ca. 6.000 words including references.

1. Introduction
2. Biosemiotic Epistemology: To Know, What Life Knows
3. A Foray into Cartesian Territory
4. To be Healthy and Live Well
5. Umwelt Theory and Constructivism
6. Why Uexküllian Phenomenology is Phenomenology
7. Biosemiotic Empiricism or Rationalism?